Auto Airbag System Repair/Air Bag code


I have a 2008 Town and Country Van, Air bag code U0171 ,lost communication with right up front satellite sensor.
Checked the connector at the R/F impact sensor, looks OK.
I want to try and replace the sensor since its an inexpensive part from Chrysler before i take it in.Just don't have the money for Chrysler to diagnose and fix.

My questions , I know to disconnect negative cable first and wait until system times out..
I've read that after i replace the sensor, that a system test must be performed before hooking cable back up.
Can't i just replace sensor and reconnect to see if its fixed?
How can the system be tested if cable is disconnected?

Thanks for any help/ advise in advance

ANSWER: Hello Joe:
Your diagnosis and repair strategy is sound.  Chrysler & Dodge have had a problem with front sensors and the connector for years.  They offer a repair kit that includes a new harness end and a new sensor just for that problem.  
We recommend soldering the wires rather than using pinch butt connectors simply because of the opportunity for water to invade the spliced connections.

Go ahead and repair it as you described, but we woudl replace the connector as well.  There is no 'reset' required on Mopar vehicles, they reset themselves (with the exception of the passenger seat sensor).
You should be fine after the new parts are installed.

Good luck

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thank you so very much for your fast response and great answer.

I am confused on one thing ,maybe you can help me understand this.
I read the following installation instructions , note where it says to perform a system this not necessary?

(1) Position sensor in vehicle (Fig. 24).
(2) Install the two retaining screws to the impact
sensor (Fig. 24). Torque screws to 7 Nm (62 in. lbs.).
(3) Connect electrical connector (Fig. 24).
(4) Lower vehicle from hoist.
WARNING: Do not connect the battery negative
cable (Refer to 8 - ELECTRICAL/RESTRAINTS -
sonal injury or death may result if the system test
is not performed first.
(5) Verify vehicle and system operation.
(6) Close hood.

I also read the following as well ...

1. Remove all special tools and jumper wires and reconnect all previously disconnected components - except the Battery.
WARNING: To avoid serious or fatal injury, turn the ignition on, then reconnect the battery.
2. Connect the scan tool to the Data Link Connector - use the most current software available.
3. If sent here from an Occupant Classification System (OCS) related diagnostic procedure or if repairs were made to the OCS, perform the *OCM System Verification Test in this Section before proceeding.
4. With the scan tool, erase stored DTCs in all Airbag System Modules.
5. Turn the ignition off, and wait 30 seconds, then turn the ignition on.
6. Wait one minute, and read active DTCs in all Airbag System Modules.
7. Read the stored DTCs in all Airbag System Modules.
Are any DTCs present or if the original condition still present?
Repair is not complete. Select the appropriate diagnostic procedure from the Table of Contents in this section.
Repair is complete.

Is all that necessary in my case or can i just install the sensor, reconnect the battery, clear the codes if that fixes it and be done with it?

I found all that stuff on different forums ,not sure if i even have the correct info

Thanks again for taking the time to help

Money is limited and trying to repair myself to save on dealership costs.

Appreciate your help


Hello again Joe:
As we discussed in our previous exchange, simply replace the sensor and harness and your code will erase.  With the battery disconnected and the key off, there is no power to the sensor and no risk of a deployment.
Once the sensor is reconnected, you may reconnect the battery.  If you are still concerned about an accidental deployment, turn the key on from outside the vehicle, without sticking your arm in front of the driver airbag ---go under the column to reach the key.
I have done dozens of these repairs without incident.


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